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Knight Finished, and So Is West, 3-2 : Legion baseball: After he pitches limit of 12 innings, Ventura wins on RBI single by Moritz.


Brandon Knight's teammates knew they had to do something. Anything.

Finally, in the bottom of the 12th inning, Monte Moritz's bases-loaded single gave the Ventura American Legion team a 3-2 victory over Woodland Hills West in the first round of the Area 6 playoffs Thursday night at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Knight pitched all 12 innings. He threw 166 pitches. And, thanks to Moritz, he got the victory.

"He gave the best performance I've seen," Moritz said. "We had to do something to get him on the board."

Knight (4-1) had thrown his last pitch regardless of Moritz's hit. Playoff rules prohibit pitchers from throwing more than 12 innings in a 72-hour period.

"In the last couple of innings, my legs started to get mushy," he said. "But my arm was fine the whole time."

Ventura (19-5) will play Claremont (36-9-2), a 10-0 winner over Westchester at 6 p.m. today. At 2 p.m., Woodland Hills West (23-5) will play Woodland Hills East (19-9), which beat Beverly Hills, 11-2. Beverly Hills (15-3) and Westchester (19-4) will play in an elimination game at 10 a.m.

While Knight was cruising along for Ventura, left-hander Randy Wolf was struggling at times, but the results were the same. Wolf threw 152 pitches in 10 innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight.

His problems were six walks and four West errors, which led to two unearned runs.

It was an error while Tony Kyber pitched in the 12th that led to the winning run.

West catcher Chris Seal let a popup by Ventura's John McNamara fall in fair territory for an error. After a wild pitch, an intentional walk and an unintentional walk loaded the bases with one out, Moritz came through.

Woodland Hills West took the lead in the fourth on a solo home run by John Novak, who had three of his team's five hits and both runs batted in against Knight.

Ventura tied the score, 1-1, by scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh and tied it, 2-2, on a throwing error by Justin Balser in the eighth.

In another first-round game:

Woodland Hills East 11, Beverly Hills 2--Brandon Witkow gave up six hits and two unearned runs in seven innings for East.

Witkow (5-2) walked three and struck out five before Dusty Cook pitched the last two innings.

Beverly Hills (15-3), the District 24 runner-up, also could not catch up with East's offense, which pounded out 18 hits.

Catcher Stacy Kleiner went four for five and scored three runs.

East had a nine-game winning streak snapped by two losses to Woodland Hills West in the final games of the District 20 playoffs on Sunday.

Jon Schaeffer, who is 15 for his last 24, homered and singled twice. John Soto had three hits and Dave Helman had two, including a two-run triple that gave East the lead in the fourth inning.

Beverly Hills left-hander Chris Kelly (5-1) left the game in the fourth after suffering back spasms while running the bases.

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